Michael Dylan Welch, editor. Press Here, Foster City, California, 1991, 20 pages, 52 poets (one poem each), ISBN 1-878798-05-7.

This book was the first book published in conjunction with the Haiku North America conference, which I cofounded in 1991. Since then, every two years, I’ve edited or coedited all of the conference anthologies. The 1991 conference took place at Las Positas College in Livermore, California (near San Francisco). “The haiku community on this continent is vibrant and growing, yet we are still small enough to be on a first-name basis. For this reason, the poems in this historic collection are arranged by each writer’s first name.” With these words from the introduction, the HNA conference anthologies began a tradition of arranging the poems by each person’s first name. See also the Press Here page for this book. The following poems are a baker’s dozen by some of the participants in this historic event.

summer afternoon—

the coolness of the newspaper

from the grocery bag

Cor van den Heuvel

New York, New York

Crow-shriek of surprise

his withered branch falling

in an old graveyard.

Dave Wright

Pleasanton, California

bus stop in the fog . . .

warming my knees

with the travel section

Ebba Story

San Francisco, California

Poison oak

along the unmarked trail . . .

lost again

Garry Gay

Windsor, California

children in bed—

the silent blinking

of fireflies

Helen J. Sherry

San Diego, California

lottery tickets

on the parking lot pavement

in the blazing sun

Jerry Ball

Livermore, California

through open windows

of my parents’ empty house,

the auctioneer’s song

Jerry Kilbride

San Francisco, California


slowly in my room

the white chrysanthemum

Kristen Deming

Tokyo, Japan

old folks’ home—

the square of light

crosses the room

Michael Dylan Welch

Foster City, California

Alone tonight—

a cricket

in the fold of my nightgown.

Patricia Donegan

San Francisco, California


answer each other

and my stomach

Paul O. Williams

Belmont, California


a pretzel plain

—salt on the change.

Vincent Tripi

San Francisco, California

the city boy

is the only one listening—

the song of the frogs

William J. Higginson

Santa Fe, New Mexico

“Sponsored by several of the most vital haiku organizations from the United States and Canada, Haiku North America is probably the most ambitious haiku event ever attempted outside of Japan. Everyone taking part in this coming-of-age celebration for English-language haiku will be helping make literary history.” —Cor van den Heuvel, 1991 (on the back cover of the HNA conference anthology, Harvest)